Rushing! Heart is racing! Frantic – frustration at traffic jams. Now we know it’s holiday time! Time to take a breather – even in the midst of stress, over commitment, plus money, time and family pressures. There are ways to stop the pounding heart and anxiety and to cope in a healthier fashion.

1) Right now take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold for a few seconds, then breathe out slowly through the mouth. Do it a few more times. If you do some deep breathing a few times a day, this small act can actually bring down blood pressure and calm anxious feelings.

2) Get hold of your day and become more organized. Make a list the night before of all the things you need to do the next day. Decide when you can do those chores and mark it in your calendar. Don’t drive from one end of the city to the other the same afternoon or evening. Try to schedule stops around the same areas if possible.

3) Walk slower, even if you’re in a rush. When you hurry, there’s more chances of slips, falls, accidents – which will really put a dent into your holiday fun. Decide you are not going to act frazzled, look frazzled or talk in a frazzled manner.

4) When shopping, bring a water bottle with you to keep hydrated. Keep healthy snacks in your bag, in your car – almonds and an apple, cashews and some dried cranberries, a healthful power bar. Don’t skip meals.

5) Don’t overdress in shopping malls; getting overheated will make you feel exhausted. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes or boots. Aching feet will exasperate stress levels. Try not to do all your shopping in one evening – spread out your purchasing over a few visits.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah or best wishes for other enjoyable holiday celebrations. Especially spend time with those whom you love and make you feel happy.

All the best,

Rosalie Moscoe, RHN, RNCP